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Watch Jamal Murray hit game-winning fadeaway to cap 20-point comeback, put Nuggets up 2-0 on Lakers

Jokic opening up opportunities for Murray vs. LAL
Dan Patrick puts Nikola Jokic's historic triple-double for Denver against Los Angeles during Game 2 in perspective and expounds how the attention he draws opens up things on the court for teammate Jamal Murray.

Everything was breaking the Lakers’ way: D’Angelo Russell was hitting 3s (six in the first half), they had gotten to Nikola Jokic by making him defend in pick-and-rolls, the LeBron James/Anthony Davis pick-and-roll clicking, Davis dominated the second quarter (14 points on 7-of-7 shooting) and early in the third quarter Los Angeles led by 20. This felt like the night the Lakers would snap their nine-game losing streak to Denver.

Then, the Nuggets did what they always do. Jamal Murray got hot (he had 14 points in the fourth quarter), Nikola Jokic bullied his way to the rim for buckets, Michael Porter Jr. hit timely 3s, they took advantage of Lakers mistakes and the Nuggets got enough stops to make it all work. Denver came back, tied things up, and the game went back and forth through the final few minutes.

Then the Nuggets got the final shot and that’s when Murray added to the legend that will someday see his jersey retired in Denver.

That is a championship team’s win. The Nuggets have a 2-0 lead in this first-round matchup, and the series will move to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Thursday.

For the Lakers, it is a gut-punch loss.

“We’ve shown that we’re more than capable. We’ve also had stretches where we don’t know what we’re doing on both ends of the floor. And those are the ones that cost us,” Anthony Davis said in his postgame remarks.

That’s the challenge in beating the Nuggets—they demand 48 minutes of perfection. The Lakers don’t do that. They start hot and can lead by 15 at the half, but in the second half, Russell’s shots no longer fall, Davis gets in foul trouble and has to sit, and the Nuggets storm back into a game.

Postgame, the Lakers complained about the officiating, saying there were missed calls they should have gotten. One specifically was in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, when Russell drove the lane and Porter Jr. was called for a foul. The Nuggets challenged it, the replay shows MPJ striking Russell in the head, but the call was overturned and ruled no foul.

Jokic finished the night with a triple-double of 27 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists. Porter Jr. ended the night with 22 points and nine boards, while Murray had 20 points.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 32 points and 11 rebounds, while LeBron had 26 points and 12 assists, and Russell finished the night with 23 and seven made 3-pointers.